Damian's 78s (and a few early LPs)

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Delius – Eugene Goossens, Geoffery Toye, John Barbirolli; Mozart’s Figaro Overture – Barbirolli; Beatrice Harrison & Harold Craxton – Delius’s Cello Sonata; Dame Ethel Smyth – overture to The Wreckers

I couldn’t let this Delius anniversary year pass without a selection of his recordings from 78s. These range from acoustics conducted by Eugene Goossens III through some early electricals with Geoffrey Toye up to post-war records by John Barbirolli. There’s one filler side from Barbirolli which is not by Delius. There’s also the early electrical set of the Cello Sonata played by its dedicatee, Beatrice Harrison.

And for a bonus, another English composer, Dame Ethel Smyth, conducts the overture to her opera “The Wreckers.”

Delius – Brigg Fair
Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Delius – Brigg Fair – RAHO, Goossens

Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring – RAHO, Goossens

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 799-800
Matrices Cc 4017-I, 4018-I, 4019-II, 4081-I (3-0974, 3-0975, 3-0976, 3-0977)
Recorded 31st December 1923 and 15th January 1924, Hayes

Brigg Fair is complete, but the Cuckoo is slightly abridged, losing 23 bars in total (from 2 before fig 5 to 4 after fig 6, and from 4 after fig 9 to 3 before fig 11.)

Delius – Sonata for Cello and Piano
Beatrice Harrison, cello
Harold Craxton, piano

Delius – Cello Sonata – Harrison, Craxton

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 1103-4
Matrices Cc 8199-II, 8200-I, 8201-II, 8202-II (08251, 08252, 08270, 08253)
Recorded 29th March 1926, Hayes

Delius – Brigg Fair
London Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Toye

Delius – Brigg Fair – LSO, Toye

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 1442-3
Matrices CR 1649-I, 1650-I, 1651-I, 1652-I (5-0824, 5-0773, 5-0774, 5-0775)
Recorded 19th February 1928, Kingsway Hall, London

Delius – In a Summer Garden
London Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Toye
Delius – A Song Before Sunrise
New Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli

Delius – In a Summer Garden – LSO, Toye

Delius – A Song Before Sunrise – NSO, Barbirolli

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 1696-7
Matrices CR 1655-I, 1656-IA, 1657-IA, Cc 16663-II (5-0776, 5-0777, 6-0808, 6-0793)
Recorded 19th February 1928 (Toye) and 7th June 1929 (Barbirolli), Kingsway Hall, London

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
New Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Toye

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden – NSO, Toye

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 1738
Matrices Cc 16763-II, 16764-II (32-755, 32-756)
Recorded 13th September 1929, Embassy Theatre, London

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
Hallé Orchestra, John Barbirolli

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden – Hallé, Barbirolli

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice C 3484
Matrices 2ER 817-I, 818-I
Recorded 16th February 1945, Manchester

This record is rather well-worn, and suffers some distortion in forte passages, particularly in the first half

Delius – Deux Aquarelles
Mozart – Overture “The Marriage of Figaro”
Hallé Orchestra, John Barbirolli

Delius – Deux Aquarelles – Hallé, Barbirolli

Mozart – Marriage of Figaro Overture – Hallé, Barbirolli

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice C 3864
Matrices 2EA 12961-2, 13654-1
Recorded 1st May 1948, 3rd May 1949, London?

PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE:

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Delius – Walk to the Paradise Garden – Cincinnati SO, Goossens

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

RCA Victor 11-9493
Matrices D6-RC-5139/40
Recorded 14th February 1946, Cincinnati

Smyth – The Wreckers – Overture
British Symphony Orchestra, Dame Ethel Smyth

Smyth – The Wreckers – overture – BSO, Smyth

(mp3 file – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Columbia DX 287
Matrices WAX 5567, 5568 (13625, 13624)
Recorded 1st May 1930, Westminster Central Hall, London

Toscanini conducts the last two movements of Mozart’s Symphony No.39 (Recorded 1920)

Things have been going slowly here, but I’m still working on assorted transfers. There should be a big update in the next month or so, but in the meanwhile, I’ll try to post occasional smaller updates, such as this one. One of Toscanini’s acoustic sides has already featured here, but here are another two, the last two movements of Mozart’s Symphony No.39.

Mozart – Symphony No.39 in E flat major K543

Menuetto (3rd Movement)
Allegro (4th Movement – Finale)

Orchestra of La Scala Milan, Arturo Toscanini

Mozart – Symphony No.39 – III – Toscanini 1920

Mozart – Symphony No.39 – IV – Toscanini 1920

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Victrola 6303
Matrices C-24738-4, C-24740-3
Recorded 18th and 21st December 1920, Victor Church Building Studios, Camden, New Jersey

Virtuoso String Quartet – Beethoven Op.127, a movement by Dittersdorf; Marjorie Hayward & Una Bourne – Grieg’s Violin Sonata in C minor, Mozart K.378; Fethi Kapuz plays Alnar

The major project continues, so I’ve again transferred some other items, with the focus on violinists. Marjorie Hayward is heard as the first violinist of the Virtuoso Quartet in a Beethoven Quartet, and then as soloist in Grieg’s Third Sonata, with Una Bourne at the piano. The additional curiosity item is of the Turkish violinist Fethi Kapuz, recorded by the BBC in 1950 with Clarence Raybould as accompanist, playing two movements by the Turkish composer Hasan Ferit Alnar.

Beethoven – String Quartet No.12 in E flat major Op.127

I. Maestoso – Allegro (2 sides)
II. Adagio ma non troppo – Andante con moto – Adagio molto espressivo 
(3 sides)
III. Scherzando, vivace
(2 sides)
IV. Finale
(2 sides)

Dittersdorf – Minuet from Quartet in E flat major

Virtuoso String Quartet:
Marjorie Hayward,
violin
Edwin Virgo, violin
Raymond Jeremy, viola
Cedric Sharpe, cello

Mediafire link for Beethoven – String Quartet Op.127 – Virtuoso Quartet

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice Album Series No.35, D1183-7
Matrices Cc 7022-V, 7023-VI, 7059-II, 7060-II, 7503-I, 7506-II, 7507-III, 7552-I, 7553-II, 8517-I (single side numbers 08293, 08294, 08260, 08268, 08298, 08256, 08261, 08269, 08257, 08272)
Recorded 12th October 1926 (sides 1, 2), 26th October 1925 (sides 3, 4 at 79rpm), 14th December 1925 (sides 5, 6, 7), 17th December 1925 (sides 8, 9), 6th September 1926 (side 10), Hayes

Grieg – Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor Op.45

I. Allegro molto ed appassionato (2 sides)
II. Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza – Allegro molto – Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza (2 sides)
III. Allegro animato (2 sides)

Marjorie Hayward, violin
Una Bourne, piano

Mediafire link for Grieg – Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor Op.45 – Hayward and Bourne

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice C 1388-90
Matrices Cc 6812-IV, 6813-VI, 6814-VIII, 7008-V, 7009-V, 7010-III (single side numbers 08254, 08258, 08266, 08267, 08255, 08259)
Recorded 11th November 1925 (side 1), 19th November 1925 (sides 2 to 6), Hayes

Mozart – Violin Sonata in B flat major K.378

I. Allegro (2 sides)
II. Andante sostenuto e cantabile (1 side)
III. Allegro (Rondo) (1 side)

Marjorie Hayward, violin
Una Bourne, piano

Mediafire link for Mozart – Violin Sonata in B flat K378 – Hayward and Bourne

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice C 1247-8
Matrices Cc 7233-I, 7234-IV, 7492-II, 7493-III (single side numbers 08234/7)
Recorded 11th November 1925 (sides 1 and 2), 10th December 1925 (sides 3 and 4), Hayes

The next item is a BBC library recording, with that stalwart of the Columbia catalogues, Clarence Raybould providing the accompaniment for the Turkish violinist Fethi Kapuz in two of the three pieces from Suite for Violin and Piano by Hasan Ferit Alnar.

Hasan Ferit Alnar – Three Pieces from Suite for Violin and Piano

Side 1. Adagio
Side 2. Taksim

Fethi Kapuz, violin
Clarence Raybould, piano

Alnar – Adagio from Suite for Violin and Piano – Kapuz, Raybould


Alnar – Taksim from Suite for Violin and Piano – Kapuz, Raybould

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

BBC Lib. No. 15484
Matrices 12RH 64450, 64452
Recorded 21st June 1950

Dan Godfrey – Mozart’s Jupiter (new transfer); Hamilton Harty – Mozart Divertimento No.17; Jean Witold – Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Pauline Aubert – Rondo alla turca; Robert Veyron-Lacroix – Piano Concertos K107 (after JC Bach), with Roland Douatte; Lener Quartet – Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Don Giovanni excerpts in English – Tudor Davies, Peter Dawson, Eleanor Jones-Hudson

The focus this time is on Mozart, with a new transfer of Dan Godfrey’s recording of Symphony No.41 “Jupiter” K551, and a selection of orchestral and keyboard items, including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, from the 1950s as presented on a French “Mode disques” LP from some time later. For a different take on Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, there is also the Lener Quartet’s 1926 recording. There are also some acoustic items from Don Giovanni, sung in English.

Mozart –Symphony No.41 in C major (“Jupiter” Symphony)

Mediafire link for Mozart – Jupiter Symphony – Dan Godfrey

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia L1938-41
Matrices: WRAX 2432-2, 2433-1, 2434-2, 2435-2, 2436-2, 2437-2, 2438-2, 2439-2
Recorded 4th February 1927
Available November 1927 to April 1934
Symphony Orchestra, Sir Dan Godfrey

This recording has a substantial overlap between sides 2 and 3. The first movement spreads over 3 sides, despite lasting only a little over 8 minutes. The first side contains the exposition (which could therefore be repeated by playing the record twice.) The second side carries through into the recapitulation, up to bar 243. The third side begins at bar 212, therefore overlapping 32 bars with the previous side, a fact acknowledged (but not explained) in the notes of the original record album.

It’s a shame that Godfrey chose this unusual side arrangement – if he’d squeezed the first movement onto 2 sides, he could have included a filler on the 8th side.

Mozart – Divertimento No.17 in D major K334

Mediafire link for Mozart – Divertimento No.17 – Hamilton Harty

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia LX 350-52
Matrices: CAX 7302-2, 7303-1, 7304-2, 7305-1, 7306-2, 7307-1
Recorded 1934

I. Allegro (1½ sides)
II. Theme and 6 Variations (1½ sides)
III. Menuetto & Trio
VI. Rondo: Allegro

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Hamilton Harty

Harty omits the fourth and fifth movements. In the second, repeats are played only in the theme and the final variation. The finale is somewhat cut, omitting bars 127-134, 1702-1861, 2072-2151, 269 and 3362-3441.

Mozart – “Petite Musique de Nuit; Marche Turque; Concerti No.2 et 3 pour piano et orchestre”

Mediafire link for Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Rondo alla Turca, Piano Concertos after JC Bach – Various

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Mode Disques MDINT 9 073
(disques vogues)
Matrices MD1396-A/B
Recorded 1957

Serenade in G major K525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”

I. Allegro
II. Romance: Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Rondo: Allegro

Ensemble Instrumental Sinfonia, Jean Witold

Piano Sonata in A major K331III. Rondo alla turca
Pauline Aubert, harpsichord

J.C. Bach arr. Mozart: Piano Concerto K.207 No.2 in G major

I. Allegro
II. Allegretto con variazioni

J.C. Bach arr. Mozart: Piano Concerto K.207 No.3 in E flat major

I. Allegro
II. Allegretto

Collegium Musicum de Paris, Roland Douatte
Robert Veyron-Lacroix
, piano

Mozart – Serenade in G major K525 “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”

Mediafire link for Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Lener Quartet

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia L 1729-30
Matrices WAX 1125-6, 1126-6, 1127-6 or 7, 1128-7
Recorded 19th February 1926
Available from Jun 1926 to July 1943 (Side 3 take 6 replaced by take 7 on 3rd March 1927)

I. Allegro (1 side)
II. Romance: Andante (1½ sides)
III. Menuetto: Allegretto (½ side)
IV. Rondo: Allegro (1 side)

Lener String Quartet

Mozart – Don Giovanni – On her contentment (Dalla sua pace)


Mozart – Don Giovanni – To her I love (Il mio tesoro)


His Master’s Voice D 957
Matrices Cc 4572-II, 4573-II (single side numbers 2-02073/4)
Recorded 5th May 1924
Tudor Davies, tenor
Orchestra, George W Byng

Mozart – Don Giovanni – Give me thy hand, Oh fairest (La ci darem la mano)


Zonophone X-44130
Matrix 10142e (X-44130-IV)
Recorded 19th May 1909
Peter Dawson, bass-baritone
Eleanor Jones-Hudson, soprano (credited on label as Alvena Yarrow)
Orchestra

(mp3 files – left click the link and download the file, or press play)

Landon Ronald – Tchaikovsky 5; Franz André – French overtures, Bolero, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Rhapsodie Dahoméenne, Coppélia, Sylvia; Theo Olof – Mozart Violin Concerto No.5, Walter Goehr; Carl Bamberger – Mozart Symphony No.32; Frank Titterton – Schubert Lieder in English

Thanks to a recent email containing a substantial, though unfinished Franz André discography, I now know that a number of his stereo recordings are out of copyright, so it seemed apt to post a selection of mainly French music. Also, there’s more Tchaikovsky from Landon Ronald, a Mozart Violin Concerto with Theo Olof, and two Schubert songs by Frank Titterton, accompanied by Lev Pouishnoff

Hérold – Zampa – Overture
Adam – Si j’étais Roi – Overture
Auber – La Muette de Portici (Masaniello) – Overture
Berlioz – Le Carnaval Romain – Overture
Thomas – Mignon – Overture
Auber – Fra Diavolo – Overture

Mediafire link for French overtures – Franz André
(No longer available)

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Telefunken SMA 13 (12” stereo LP)
Matrices STE-010355-2D, 010356-2D
Recorded October 1955 (Zampa, Muette de Portici), 15th July 1956 (Carnaval Romain, Fra Diavolo), 16th July 1956 (Si j’étais Roi), 17th April 1957 (Mignon), Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
L’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion National Belge, Franz André

Ravel – Bolero
Dukas – L’apprenti sorcier
De Boeck – Rhapsodie Dahoméenne

Mediafire link for Ravel, Dukas de Boeck – Franz André
(No longer available)

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Telefunken SLB 12001 (12” stereo LP)
Matrices XLP – Ste – 10168-IV, 10217-VI
Recorded 2-7 April 1958, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
L’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion National Belge, Franz André

Delibes – Coppélia Suite

Prelude and Mazurka
Entr’acte and Valse
Valse de la Poupée
Czardas

Delibes – Sylvia Suite

Prelude – Les Chasseresses
Intermezzo and Valse Lente
Pizzicato – Polka
Cortège de Bacchus

Mediafire link for Delibes ballet suites – Franz André

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Telefunken TCS 18006 (12” stereo LP)
Matrices STE-010393-1, 010392
Recorded 16th (Sylvia) and 17th (Coppélia) April 1957, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels
L’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radiodiffusion National Belge, Franz André

Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.5 in E minor Op.64

Mediafire link for Tchaikovsky – Symphony No.5 – Landon Ronald

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice D 1511-16 (Album 73)
Matrices CR 1773-IA, 1774-I, 1775-III, 1776-IA, 1777-I, 1778-I, 1779-III, 1780-I, 1770-IA, 1781-II, 2006-IIA, 2007-I (single side numbers 5-0848/9, 5-0879, 5-0850/1, 5-0986, 5-0881, 5-0852, 5-0853, 5-0880, 5-0981/2)
Recorded 18th April 1928 (sides 1, 2 and 4), 19th April 1928 (sides 5, 6, 8 and 9), 2nd May 1928 (sides 3, 7, 10, 11 and 12) Queen’s Hall, London

I. Andante – Allegro con anima (4 sides)
II. Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza (3 sides)
III. Valse: Allegro moderato (2 sides)
IV. Finale: Andante maestoso – Allegro vivace – Andante maestoso – Moderato assai e molto maestoso (3 sides)

New Symphony Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald

There was some slight variation in recording speed (particularly on the 2nd day).

Mozart – Violin Concerto No.5 in A major K219

I. Allegro aperto
II. Adagio
III. Tempo di menuetto

Theo Olof, violin
Classics Club Symphony Orchestra, Walter Goehr

Mozart – Symphony No.32 in G major K318
Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, Carl Bamberger

Mediafire link for Mozart – Violin Concerto – Theo Olof, Symphony No.32 – Bamberger

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

The Classics Club: Collector 67
Matrices CCHN 67 A-1P, B-1P
Recorded early 1950s

Schubert – On the water (Auf dem Wasser)
Schubert – The Erl King (Erlkönig)

Mediafire link for Schubert songs – Titterton

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia 9431
Matrices WAX 3250-4, 3251-1 (8512/3)
Recorded 4th April, 13th February 1928, London
Available from mid-August 1928 to August 1934
Frank Titterton, tenor
Lev Pouishnoff, piano

Mark Hambourg’s Tchaikovsky 1st Concerto, Rodzinski conducts Mozart concertos, Howard Barlow conducts Haydn’s Surprise, creators of Der Rosenkavalier, Vladimir Golschmann conducts Sibelius and Mozart

There’s quite a mixture of items for mid-January. Firstly, I’ve had another attempt at Mark Hambourg’s recording of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto – the HMV surfaces are rough, and the recording isn’t the easiest to deal with, but I’ve certainly improved on my previous attempt. It also brings the name of Landon Ronald to my site – there’ll be much more to follow. In addition, I’ve transferred a Westminster LP with Artur Rodzinski conducting Mozart’s Clarinet and Bassoon Concertos. Then it’s back to two of this year’s anniversary composers. Haydn’s Surprise symphony has already appeared on this site in versions by Horenstein, Weissmann and Sargent. The next account is with Howard Barlow conducting the Columbia Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. And as a little nod to the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Richard Strauss, two of the sides recorded by Minnie Nast and Eva Plaschke-von der Osten, the creators of Sophie and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. Finally, I’ve transferred an early LP of Vladimir Golschmann conducting Sibelius’s 7th Symphony and Mozart’s Prague Symphony.

Tchaikovksy – Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor Op.23

I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
II. Andantino semplice
III. Allegro con fuoco

Mediafire link for Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No.1 – Hambourg, Ronald

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice D 1130-33
Matrices CR 736-IA, 737-I, 738-IA, 739-I, 732-IIA, 733-IA, 734-IA, 735-IA (single side numbers 05951/4, 05947/50)
Recorded 28th September 1926, Kingsway Hall, London
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Landon Ronald
Mark Hambourg, piano

Mozart – Clarinet Concerto in A major K.622

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro

Mozart – Bassoon Concerto in Bb major K.191

I. Allegro
II. Andante ma adagio
III. Rondo: Tempo di minuetto

Mediafire link for Mozart concerti – Rodzinski

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Whitehall WH20060
Matrices XTV 21725/6 (M18287A/B)
Recorded June 27th to July 11th 1954, Vienna Konzerthaus, Mozartsaal
Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Artur Rodzinski
Leopold Wlach, clarinet
Karl Oehlberger, bassoon

Haydn – Symphony No.94 in G major “The Surprise”

I. Adagio cantabile – Vivace assai (2 sides)
II. Andante (2 sides)
III. Menuetto (Allegro molto) and Trio (1 side)
IV. Allegro di molto (1 side)

Mediafire link for Haydn – Surprise Symphony – Howard Barlow

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia (UK) DX 929-931
Matrices XCO 24147/52
Recorded 20th February 1939, New York
Columbia Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, Howard Barlow

This UK Columbia set has a very high level of surface noise and crackle, and proved much more difficult to restore than other UK Columbias of a similar vintage, despite the good recording quality.

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier:
Mit ihren Augen voll Tränen (Act 2)
Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein (Act 3)

Download – R Strauss – Rosenkavalier – Mit ihren Augen – Nast, Osten

Download – R Strauss – Rosenkavalier – Ist ein Traum – Nast, Osten

(mp3 files – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

His Master’s Voice D 1002
Matrices 2305½c, 2304c (single side numbers 044184, 044183)
Recorded 25th August 1911, Berlin
Minnie Nast, soprano
Eva Plaschke-von der Osten, soprano
with Orchestra

Der Rosenkavalier was premiered in Dresden on January 26th 1911. These two sides were part of a group made seven months later in Berlin. Eva von der Osten and Minnie Nast created the roles of Octavian and Sophie. Margarethe Siems, the creator of the Marschallin, also took part in the session, recording solo and ensemble pieces.

“Mit ihren Augen” runs from 2 bars before fig 115 to fig 129
“Ist ein Traum” runs from 2 bars before fig 297 to fig 300, then has a transition section, before running fig 303 to 2 bars after fig 305

Sibelius – Symphony No.7 in C Op.105
Mozart – Symphony No.38 in D major “Prague”

I. Adagio – Allegro
II. Andante
III. Finale: Presto

Mediafire link for Sibelius and Mozart – Vladimir Golschmann

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

RCA Victor Bluebird Classics LBC-1067
Matrices E3RP-5266-1S, 5267-1S
Recorded 1942 (Sibelius), 1945 (Mozart)
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Golschmann

This very early American LP was in poor condition, with considerable surface noise, and suffers some blasting in bass-heavy passages.

Luella Melius

Luella Melius is a far from well known singer.

“Luella Melius, soprano, born 21st August 1892, Appleton, Wisconsin. Date of death unknown. Her actual name was Mrs. W. Fulton Melhuish. She began her training in Chicago as a child, and then studied under Jean de Reszke in Paris. She debuted at the Vienna Volksoper under Weingartner at the start of the 1920s and gave guest appearances in Paris, Madrid, Naples and Berlin, including Gilda at the Paris Opera in 1924. In the 1925/6 season she was at the Chicago opera as Gilda in “Rigoletto” and as Rosina in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” (alongside Schipa and Bonelli). She guested in 1926 at the San Francisco Opera as Lucia di Lammermoor and as Gilda. As her career developed she broadcast for the BBC, and then American radio. She took part in numerous opera broadcasts in the 1920s. In 1926-27 she was a guest artiste at some German houses. In 1932 she created a vocal school in New York, at which such important figures as Marguerite Sylva, Adamo Didur, Carolina Lazzari and EH Gauthier taught. Records: First acoustics in England with HMV (1925); later in the USA early electrical Victors. All show a technically confident coloratura soprano.”

Time Magazine notes in October 1923 that she was heading to Europe for a year of concerting, including Gilda in Paris. On November 30th 1925, Time had this to say:

“It is rapidly becoming a convention for the critics of Chicago to hail every week as a great artist some singer hitherto ungraced by U.S. laurels. Two weeks ago it was Baritone Bonelli. Last week it was Luella Melius, coloratura singer, born in Appleton, Wis. She made her debut in Rigoletto. Staid people have been foolish enough to believe that a modern audience could not be more than politely moved by the graceful insipidities of the old score – that the days were past when a perfect trill was a signal for young men in evening clothes to unhitch the horses of a prima donna’s carriage and pull her home themselves. The Chicago enthusiasts stopped short of this. But they held up the performance after she had sung the “Caro Nome,” and gave Luella Melius ten curtain calls at the end of the act. Old Critic Glenn Dillard Gunn declared that he remembered only three such scenes in the last 25 years; others compared Miss Melius with Gali-Curci. Even the most reserved could not help agreeing that her voice is very good.”

There are notes of concerts in various parts of the USA in the late 1920s.

It may be that Melius’s visit to Europe was longer than planned, or that she returned in 1925. Certainly the Gramophone Company made a number of recordings with her, starting with tests in May of that year, and six issued sides in August.

  • 8th May 1925: LUELLA MELIUS with Mme ADAMI, piano
    Cc 6101-1, -2 Verdi – La Traviata: Ah, fors’è lui (in Italian)
    Cc 6102-1, -2 JB Wekerlin – Fleur des Alpes (Swiss echo song) (in French)
    (Test matrices)
  • 5th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng
    Cc 6439-1▲?, -2▲? Delibes – Lakmé: Pourquoi dans les grands bois
    Cc 6444-1▲?, -2▲? Delibes – Lakmé: Bell song – Where is the young Hindu maid
  • 6th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [B Studio]
    Cc 6452-1▲?, -2▲? JB Wekerlin – Les fleurs des Alpes, Swiss echo song (in French)
    Cc 6453-1▲?, -2▲? Benedict – La capinera (in French) with GORDON WALKER, flute
  • 6th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [Room 1]
    Bb 6454-1, -2 JB Wekerlin – Les fleurs des Alpes, Swiss echo song
    Take 2 issued on 7-33071 DA722
    Bb 6455-1, -2 Benedict – La capinera with GORDON WALKER, flute
    Take 1 issued on 7-33072 DA722
  • 10th August 1925: LUELLA MELIUS, with Orchestra conducted by George W Byng [Room 1]
    Cc 6474-1, -2 Delibes – Lakmé: Pourquoi dans les grands bois
    Take 2 issued on 2-033103 DB883
    Cc 6475-1, -2, -3 Delibes – Lakmé: Where is the young Hindu maid (Où va la jeune hindoue)
    Take 3 issued on 2-033102 DB883
    Bb 6476-1, -2 Mozart – Il Flauto Magico: Aria di Pamina – Ah lo so
    Take 1 issued on 7-53091 DA723
    Bb 6477-1, -2 Mozart – Il Flauto Magico: Aria della Regina della Notte – Gli angui d‘inferno
    Take 1 issued on 7-53092 DA723

It’s curious that in these last days of acoustical recording at Hayes, Melius attempted four items electrically, but that her issued HMV recordings were ultimately made acoustically – and in fact the acoustic recordings of the Wekerlin and Benedict items were preferred over the electrical versions recorded the same day. On Melius’s final HMV recording day, Noel Coward was recording electrically at Hayes, as were Jack Hylton’s Kit Kat Band. And it appears that Melius was followed into the studio by tenor Tudor Davies who made 4 unissued acoustic sides, before going into Studio B and recording two of the same items electrically, one of which was issued.

Melius also made at least two issued sides for Victor – 1927 Polonaise from Mignon and Valse from Mireille (the issued takes were both number 34.)

Download – Luella Melius sings Ach, ich fühl’s

Download – Luella Melius sings Der Hölle Rache

(mp3 files – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

Il Flauto Magico – Ah! lo so, piu non m’avanza (Pamina’s Aria)
Il Flauto Magico – Gli angui d’inferno (Queen of the Night Aria)
His Master’s Voice DA 723
Matrices Bb 6476-1, 6477-1 (7-53091/2)
Recorded 10th August 1925 in Room 1 at Hayes
Orchestra, George W. Byng
Luella Melius, soprano

Pamina’s aria plays in score pitch at 78rpm, and the Queen of the Night Aria plays in C minor (a transposition of a tone downwards) at the same speed, so that Melius produces a string of top E flats, rather than top Fs.

Pamina’s aria has the following text visible under the label, inscribed into the wax master:

BB6476

10 Aug 25

I

5/6/25

Palmina’s Aria

Magic Flute

Luella Melius

(And “Palmina” is what actually appears there, it’s not my misprint!)